The courts deserve contempt

27 11 2015

Back before the military coup, on 21 February 2014, Thammasat Universty’s Sudsa-nguan Suthisorn, Darunee Kritboonyalai and Picha Wijitsilp, a lawyer for the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship were  charged with contempt of court for laying a wreath and holding up placards that criticized the Civil Court. They did this  in front of the court.

The Bangkok Post reports that the Appeals Court has “reduced a one-month prison term given to a Thammasat University lecturer for contempt of court to one month in detention, a less severe penalty.”

Earlier proceedings against Darunee were halted as she “failed to show up to fight the case, and [the court] issued a warrant for her arrest.”

Sudsa-nguan and Picha had earlier been sentenced to two months in prison, reduced to a month each because of a confession. Picha has since died. Hence, it was only Sudsa-nguan who appealed.

The Appeals Court considered her act a “serious contempt of court” and refused to “suspend the one-month jail term…. However, the court reduced the one month jail term to one month in detention under custody – a lighter form of penalty she will serve outside a prison.”

In PPT’s view, the country’s courts deserve all of the contempt they receive; they have been politicized and work with double standards.